Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Everybody's a critic.

Borrowing Dennis Miller’s line about somebody else, Paul DePodesta (the Los Angeles Dodgers’ relatively new General Manager) is getting stomped like a narc at a biker rally by the local media. I fired open the Los Angeles Times this morning to see the latest DePodesta drubbing. In an unusually literary article, the Times sportswriter compared Mr. DePodesta to Ayn Rand’s character Howard Roark in The Fountainhead. Roark was an architect who “blew things up” and “stood by his radical designs in the face of severe criticism”. While making the comparison, however, the writer was quick to remove any positive connotation that an architect might bring to Mr. DePodesta.

Setting aside the relative merits or demerits of Mr. DePodesta’s approach to the team, I reflected on his resolute approach, undaunted by withering criticism, which reminded me of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous quote:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man
stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit
belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by
dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short
again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and
spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the
triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails
while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and
timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” (“Citizenship in a
Republic”, Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910.)